Speaking of obstacles to happiness....
I wish I had a job where I could work strictly thirty two hours per week. Arrive at 8:30 and leave right at 5, four days a week. Not have to think about work at all when I leave. No calls after hours. No work on weekends. Great job security. Oh, and the job pays the same as I make today.
Think of all the other things I could do in my life. But this is just a dream, I don't think this job exists.
Another blogger titled his blog "Corporate Slave." That sums up how an awful lot of people feel. I don't feel that way. I am fortunate to have the job I do. I am thankful for that, especially when I look around at other people. I look at the guy in the cell phone store making $12/hr, living paycheck to paycheck, and an elusive "promotion" being dangled as motivation, as a corporate slave.
Debt and financial obligations can make you a slave too.
Could I quit my job and transition to fewer hours and less stress? Perhaps yes, but it would be a serious pay cut. I choose not to do that. I just could not bring myself to do that. And I don't think I need to.
Sometimes I run into people who have checked out of the rat race and opted for a different life track. It's a sacrifice, but sometimes the corporate life is so stressful and unpleasant people just do it. It's not very common. I know a ton of corporate people. None are super happy with their jobs. But almost none do anything about it.
This has been a cold winter. Who wants to get home after 7 and then think about going out again into the sub-zero blackness?
Where am I going with this? When I map out my week there is limited time to do other things. This is a long standing problem for me. One major change this year is that my kids are becoming adults and I will have more freedom.
I am also handling work better. Over the last few months I've adopted a strategy of minimizing contact with certain people at work, including my dotted line boss, and it seems to be working. I am saying no to additional projects. The distribution of work and resources is not fair. I WILL take all my vacation this year.
The problem with people like me is that we are fundamentally comfortable. Life is not perfect, but it's pretty comfortable. There's no screaming need to make a change. Inertia can set in and there's no action to make things better.
Sometimes the best way to achieve big changes is to start with a series of small changes.